VANDERHEYDEN Newsletter
 In the News....
February 2017 

  
SEE YOU AT OUR SPRING FUNDRAISER! 
5 COURSE DINNER PAIRED WITH WINES....
 
Wednesday, March 22 - Shaker Ridge Country Club, Loudonville.  6pm 
A Fundraiser to kick off the Vanderheyden Royal Gala for our Individuals - A Night to Shine!

 
   
For ticket information:  Wine and Dine 2017 or call (518) 874-4901 
 

MEET LEXI, OUR "L'ARTISTE"

 
Lexi has a very special artistic flair and talent that she brings to Vanderheyden.

Her drawings, paintings, and even her cosmetology work is designed as skillfully as an artist who creates a masterpiece.

Since her father is a member of the military, Lexi has lived all over the US with her family and three sisters. California, Florida, Kansas and Virginia have all been her homes.  She has been at Vanderheyden since November of 2015.

Lexi has praise for the programs here at Vanderheyden.

"I like that no matter what your background is, or where you came from, we have each other's back," she says. "It's that togetherness that Vanderheyden presents."

Lexi has recently taken a part-time position at McDonald's, where she says it's fun, and the shifts go by so fast.

"It's a good experience for my first job," she says. "It's a good way to learn how to balance school, chores and work."

Since Lexi, a 12th grader at our Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center, has already passed Regents, she will be starting at Hudson Valley Community College in the fall. Her focus will be early childhood development and teaching.

"I always remembered my kindergarten teacher in California, who brought his guitar to class," Lexi says. "He really made an impact, and I want to make the same impact on my students."

The recreational programs at Vanderheyden have given Lexi experiences that she will always remember, and also activities that she never had the opportunity to try before.

"I like the rec," she says. "I went to a trampoline park, and learned how to roller skate while living here."

Lexi's days at Vanderheyden have also left a life-long impression.

"I wouldn't have had this many opportunities at home as I had here at Vanderheyden," she says.

"I've been taking accountability for things that I have done in the past, and I realize that I'm the writer of my own story," Lexi says. "And one with an upcoming sequel."
         


 
THANK YOU FOR GIVING THE GIFT OF LIFE!



The weather did not stop our many donors from giving at Vanderheyden's Annual Blood Drive with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, February 7th at our Wynantskill campus. The 29 donors provided 28 pints of blood that will assist 84 people in need.

The cafeteria at the Richard A. Desrochers Educational Center was turned into a mobile donation center, where the community joined several of our Team Members. Each donor received gift cards to Dunkin' Donuts and Amazon.com!

Thank you to all our volunteers and donors. Hope to see you again next February!
 
 
               

 

A CALL FOR EQUAL FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS    

    
 
Our President and CEO Karen Carpenter Palumbo participated at a press conference on Tuesday, February 14th at the Legislative Office Building in Albany.

Karen was one of the speakers who called for equal funding for 853 and 4201 schools, and 4410 preschool programs.

Photo courtesy of Janet Silver.
 
         
MEET OUR DIRECTOR OF HEALTH SERVICES....  
 
  
 
Our Director of Health Services says she has found her niche at Vanderheyden.

"I saw this job and it was non-profit, and it was with younger people," Mary Ellen Pace says. "I just knew it was going to be my niche."

Pace says after a tour and interviews at our campus, she knew it would be a great fit.

"It really just felt like home to me, because I really like working in the community where people are underserved," she says. "And there's a real need for my passion which is medical education."

"I wasn't here three weeks and knew I was back in the world that I loved to be in," Pace says.

After graduating from nursing school, the New Jersey native became a Level 1 ER Trauma Nurse at Albany Medical Center. From there, she became Director of Nursing at Whitney M Young, Jr Health Center, and moved to Redondo Beach, California, to take a position at a Providence hospital.

After moving back to the Capital Region, Pace worked as a Director of Nursing at a senior living facility in Guilderland, before taking the job at Vanderheyden in October.

"The staff that's here is really wonderful. My team members are amazing, they are such dedicated people," Pace says. "They have taught me so much about the history of Vanderheyden, and their dedication and knowledge is overwhelming." 

"There is so much they can really tell me and it helps," she says. "It's definitely a team effort going forward."

Pace says she became a nurse because of her experiences with her Mother.

"My Mom was very, very sick, and I took care of her," she says. "It all could have been prevented if she would have taken care of herself."

"I just decided that I was going to make that my mission," Pace says. "I really love being a nurse. I was born to be a nurse."

As part of her Vanderheyden give-back, Pace has started a group called "Girl Power," which she says is an empowerment club for some of our Individuals who had hard situations to deal with in life.

"It's a place to talk about the hard things in a fun environment, a safe environment," she says. "It can't always be heavy."

Pace says she came up with the idea for the club from watching the girls. The first meeting in January turned into a serious health issues conversation.

"I gave them facts to every question they asked," she says.

The "Power Girl" members have received facials, and learned why this is beneficial. In the future, the girls will learn to do makeup applications and hair, pedicures, knit, crochet, and "fun stuff."

Pace also brings in fancy desserts for the girls, and will be the host of an old-fashioned tea party in the future.

"The world is theirs," Pace says. "They can choose it."

Since the initial group of 10 girls, the popular club is now up to 14 participants, and keeps growing.

"I don't know how big it's going to get," she says. "We may have to move out of the room we're using."

In her spare time, Pace, the mother of a son and a daughter, loves to shop for clothes and is an avid New York Mets fan. She also loves to walk with "Benny," her Brussels Griffon rescue dog from California.

"I'm just really, really happy to be here," Pace says. "Whatever the needs are, I'm willing to do what I can to meet the needs of the organization."
 
 

IT'S TIME FOR OUR ROYAL GALA  
FORMAL WEAR DONATIONS NEEDED

     

 
Our spectacular Royal Gala is coming up in May. This year's theme is "A Night To Shine!"

Because of our many donors last year, our Individuals experienced a wonderful and memorable night!

We are again looking for donations of any and all formal wear for our Individuals.

Items needed are: Prom dresses, ladies shoes, jewelry, men's suits, bow ties, men's dress shoes, formal shirts, socks, and any accessory to make this night extra special for our Individuals. We are also accepting cash donations for the event.

Donations can be dropped off at our campus at 614 Cooper Hill Road in Wynantskill at the Pattison Building.

For more information, call Lauren at (518) 283-6500 ext. 250 or lsirkin@vanderheyden.org
                                                          
 

VANDERHEYDEN NAMED 2017 CHARITY OF CHOICE

     

We are so honored and excited to be chosen as a 2017 Charity of Choice recipient for the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge!

The 3.5-mile race will be held on Thursday, May 18th at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.

Thank you CDPHP!!

To register or volunteer, go to: http://cdphpwtc.com/ 
                                                        

THANK YOU CAP COM AND TWILL!
 
   

 
Our Individuals were keeping warm this winter with nice, warm blankets from Twill!

Thank you Cap Com Federal Credit Union for teaming up with Twill to supply our Individuals with this great addition!

 


 

LOOKING FOR BOWLERS 
   

 

As a fundraiser for our Royal Gala, Vanderheyden will be holding a Bowl-A-Thon on Sunday, April 23rd, at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy.

The event will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., with registration at 12:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 per person, and are available at the door, or online at Bowl-A-Thon 
      
Contact Lauren at (518) 283-6500 ext. 250 for more information.
                                              

THE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS     

    
 
Vanderheyden's President and CEO Karen Carpenter Palumbo, Mary Beth Carman, Vice President of Operations, Frank Dembo, Director of Education, and our Individuals, met with Dr. Raymond Effinger, the Principal of The Orchard School at Andrus in Yonkers, and Sandra Vilar-Ferreira, LCSW, Residential Clinical Director at Andrus at our Wynantskill campus.

Each agency shared best practices that are presently being utilized at both locations.

 
 
 
  SAVE THE DATES!
 
 
 
YOU ARE INVITED TO BE OUR GUEST AT OUR 2017 UPCOMING EVENTS:

Wednesday, March 22 - Shaker Ridge Country Club, Albany.  6pm 
5 Course Dinner with Wine Pairing - A Fundraiser to kick off the Vanderheyden Royal Gala for our Individuals - A Night to Shine!

Sunday, April 23 - Vanderheyden Bowl-A-Thon at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy.  1-3pm.  Unlimited Games, shoe rental included, music and prizes. Tickets available at the door or online at Bowl-A-Thon

Saturday, October 14
Community Fall Festival -Vanderheyden Wynantskill Campus

Wednesday, October 18 - Annual Oktoberfest Fundraiser at Brown's Brewing Co, Troy

More details to come.... Keep following us on Facebook!

As always, thank you for your support!
 

BLUE BOX DONATIONS ALWAYS WELCOME!

 
 
Time to clean out your closets for the season!  We will accept any unwanted clothing item!  Bring them to our campus at 614 Cooper Hill Road in Wynantskill, and look for the "Blue Box" at the entrance to our parking lot.  Thank you so much for your help!                         
 
   To make a donation on our website, donate_now_blue4_btn.gif
    click on the "Donate Now" button.
            
                     Find us on:  www.vanderheyden.org                                
                                                 

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